In case you haven't been paying attention, a massive protest has been going on. No, not the BLM/Antifa riots all over America, but massive peaceful protests in Belarus. In the case of Belarus, it is the protestors that are peaceful and the police and government authorities that were not, attacking protestors and even arresting people nearby who were not even protesting. Tens of thousands, in cities across Belarus, were protesting the result of the August 2020 presidential election. In fact, in Minsk, the capital, it looked like 100s of thousands that filled streets and sidewalks as far as the eye could see. Before I discuss these protests, I'd like to give you some information on Belarus and its history. Belarus was formerly known as a Byelorussia SSR as part of the Soviet Union. "Byelo" means white probably because the Slavs, who were white-skinned, stood up to the hordes of invaders from Asia. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the name was modified to Belarus. Before becoming part of the Soviet Union, Belarus was part of the Lithuanian Polish Empire, and then being ruled by one of its surrounding countries that include Poland on the west, Lithuania and Latvia on the north and northwest, Ukraine to the south, and Russia on the east. Prior to WW1 it was controlled by Tsarist Russia, but was supposed to be given some autonomy according to the League of Nations and peace agreement, but in 1922 Lenin and then Stalin made it an integral part of the Soviet Union until 1991 with the collapse of communism and the break up of the Soviet Union. Belarus had close ties to Russia under Yeltsin and then Putin getting most of its imports and sending most of its exports. A key import from Russia is oil. Currently, relations with Russia are not good as Putin is withholding oil. Its first Presidental election was held in 1994 after a constitution had been drawn up and a bicameral legislature is the result with the president allowed to serve two five year terms.
One can see the massive nature of the peaceful protests in Minsk.
The first and only president is Alexander Lukashenko, a former farming commissar when Belarus was part of the Soviet Union. He has changed the constitution so he can run every five years. The 2004 election and those since were rigged, so much so that the EU placed restrictions on its dealings with Belarus. He is considered the last dictator in Europe and has maintained farming collectives and a secret police called the KBG, reminiscent of the communist past. He has jailed and even tortured opposition leaders as he did before the recent elections. Siarhei Tsikhanouski, a favored opposition leader, was jailed and accused of crimes he didn't commit. His wife Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya ran in his place and claimed victory, despite the fake official results. The people knew that Lukashenko's claim of receiving 80% of the vote was fake and is the reason for the massive protests.
Dictator and President Alexander Lukashenko
Major opponent and suspected presidential election winner Sviatlana Tsikanouskaya, whose husband was jailed and tortured before the election
Belarus is not a rich country and near the bottom in GNP growth. The people though, are almost all employed and hard-working, but life is very restricted. There are natural resources, but they are controlled by the government and poorly managed The people would like more interaction with the EU and possibly NATO. This will not happen with Lukashenko as President. The protests have continued to gain followers and continue to remain peaceful on the part of the protestors, but not the police. The protestors have adopted a new flag. The Belarusian flag consisted of a broad red and green bar, the protestors flag has two white bars with a red one in between with the Belarusian seal.
Belarusian flag of the protest.
It is of some interest to compare this protest to the current protests/riots in America. It is important to note that the protestors in Belarus are peaceful. There has been no vandalism, arson, or looting in Minsk or any other city. The police, even when violent, have not been attacked. In America, all of the protests have turned into riots. In Belarus, the people are trying to get out from under a leader who maintains some of the most brutal aspects of communism limiting freedom of speech, dissent, and free elections, whereas those in America are being led by admitted Marxists, who are primarily interested in replacing a free government with a communist one. Those who oppose BLM/Antifa can be beaten and even murdered. One of the goals of the riots is to scare people into not voting in November or voting for the protestors. Billions of dollars worth of damage has been done. many businesses will never rebuild or open again, and it may take years for those that do to recover. Leftist politicians are on the side of the rioters, who have made a martyr out of a career criminal, who was murdered by a police officer while in custody. Meanwhile, hundreds of innocents including children have been murdered without any protest by BLM/Antifa. This makes it obvious to me that Black lives really don't matter to them.
I hope that the Belarusian protest will be successful and that Lukashenko will step down and be allowed to find refuge somewhere else. I hope that a new, freer government arises from all of this. I do have a warning for the people of Belarus. One of the few good things that Lukashenko has done was to get rid of George Soros in1997. Soros in fact is the main sponsor of BLM and Antifa. As I have pointed out in previous blogs, Soros has tried to step in, converting new or countries in chaos to leftist ones that are often more corrupt than the ones he is replacing. He has been thrown out of Latvia and Hungary, but has managed to replace a right of center government in North Macedonia with a leftist one, intent on opening its borders to Middle Eastern and African refugees. He almost managed to take control of Naftogaz, Ukraine's huge state-owned natural gas company. In Africa, he supported the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to replace a corrupt Liberian President, only to have her put her children in charge of Liberia's natural resources so her son could walk away with $145 million for the oil rights and then had Obama send in American troops under the guise of preventing Ebola to protect gold and iron mines that were controlled by a his NGOs. They seem like charity, but are wolves in sheep's clothing. Resist Soros!!! He is worse than Lukashenko. We all pray for Belarus.